Virgin River

Michelle Fermin, Corrections Editor

Virgin River quickly became one of my favorite shows because of its emotional performances and how it did not shy away from addressing taboo topics. The Netflix original ‘Virgin River’ which recently debuted it’s second season, was able to take a repeated idea of ‘lost person moving to a small town to start over’ and make it their own story with lots of original ideas. The writers did a great job of balancing a character’s struggle with their character development. Having seen other works from Martin Henderson who plays Jack Sheridan, I knew that he would do a good job of immersing himself into his character and that is what put the show on my radar. Although it took me a couple of months to finally watch it, the show did not disappoint at all.

Virgin River is my favorite Netflix original with its 20, nearly hour-long episodes; I was able to watch the show in its entirety in a week. The show has a lot of scenes that many people would consider ‘corny’ but the writers did not take the traditional route while revealing them to viewers as they were often more complicated than at first glance. The script writers were able to differentiate the show from the books while referencing them in the plot for a good balance. 

Melinda “Mel” Monroe played by Alexandra Breckenridge, is moving from Los Angeles to Northern California after a tragedy changes her world while trying to find herself again. When Mel first comes in she is very reserved, shut off to the town and its people, the actress’ performance was what kept me from closing the show. Mel has a problematic trait of running away whenever she deals with emotions or problems and hardly ever communicating. This was nerve-wracking to watch because we see the consequences of it later. The writers did an amazing job of writing a script that connects to its audience.

The film crew did an amazing job of capturing the nature that surrounds the town of Virgin River in Northern California. The shots of Mel, an avid runner in the forest while jogging showed the beauty of nature. The show has multiple scenes where the characters run into each other in the forests and in each one the director is subtly putting an emphasis on their surroundings. Often during their transition scenes, they will focus on nature and its sound which shows how much attention to detail they put.

Jake Sheridan is one of the main characters who owns the local bar and is an ex-Marine. Sheridan has a ‘giver, never take’ mentality who always helps others whenever they need it. The actor was able to incorporate emotions into his scenes so flawlessly that it often made me forget I was watching a television show. He often suffers in silence refusing to ever accept help even from those closest to him. As a viewer, this was a frustrating thing to watch because we see him shut everyone out. Sheridan needs to learn how to rely on others as they do with him because if not it will cause more harm than anything. 

The small-town mindset is different in every show that I’ve watched but the one of ‘Virgin River’ is very similar to that of ‘Hart of Dixie.’ Although the main difference is the length that those in Virgin River are willing to protect the ones who live in their small town. This creates a very strong connection between the community which the characters often lean back on in their times of need to center themselves. However, the bad part of this is that people in the town often have no privacy with the prying eyes of the town around them.

The drama in Virgin River is perfect for the audience they intended to reach. The romance and drama are slow-developing which makes it more realistic especially after Mel’s past. The show is rated TV-14 and is suitable for anyone above the age of 14. I would rate this show a 10/10. The show never cut any corners in its storytelling process and that is prevalent when watching. You can find Virgin River on Netflix and it’s the third season that comes out later this year.